How would you describe the above picture?
Imagine that you want to describe it to someone who cannot see it; where would you start?
WRITING A DESCRIPTION
♠ Step #1: What do you want to say? Not sure? Try asking ‘Wh…‘ questions:
Who … ? Where … ? What … ? When … ? Why … ? Which … ? How … ?
N.B ‘How’ can be used in addition to the ‘Wh…’ questions.
The answers to the ‘Wh … ?’ questions will provide you with a description:
|Who are the people in the picture?||… a girl / a waiter|
|Where are they?||… outside dining /in a restaurant/ Cortona, Italy|
|What are they doing?||… She is sitting at a table. She is smiling. The waiter is clearing dishes.|
|When was the picture taken?||… on a warm day , April (she is wearing summer clothes)|
is she in this restaurant?
|… on holiday.|
would you describe the girl/the waiter?
would you describe the setting (location)?
|… She: beautiful/stunning, gorgeous, young, relaxed, in her 20’s
… He: smartly-dressed
… lovely, delightful, pleasant, quaint, charming
As you can see, some questions are more important than others but this is a good start and you have enough information for a description.
♠ Step #2: Write some sentences:
The picture is of a stunning girl in her twenties and a smartly-dressed waiter.
They are in a delightful restaurant.
The restaurant is in Cortona, Italy.
She is smiling at the camera.
He is clearing dishes.
It is a warm day. She is on holiday.
♠ Step #3: Improve the sentences. To do this, link the information in the above sentences. If all the sentences are simple, the writing sounds childish. Read the above sentences aloud and you will see what I mean. This does not mean that you should link every sentence. Sometimes, simple sentences are perfect. However, you need to help the reader understand the connections between your ideas. Good English should be a combination of simple and complex language. You can, for example, link the sentences with Co-ordinating Conjunctions and /or Subordinating Conjunctions. There is more than one way to connect the information. Here is one example:
The picture is of a stunning girl in her twenties who is in a charming restaurant (which is) in Cortona, Italy.
It’s a warm Spring day and she is on holiday.
While a smartly-dressed waiter clears the table, she smiles sweetly at the camera.
Here is another example:
In the picture, a gorgeous girl in her twenties is dining in a quaint restaurant in Cortona, Italy. (This is a simple sentence. There is only one subject and one verb.)
She is on holiday, it’s a warm day in April, and she is smiling happily at the camera while a smartly-dressed waiter clears the table.
♠ Step #4: Combine the sentences into a paragraph:
The picture is of a stunning girl in her twenties who is in a charming restaurant in Cortona, Italy. It’s a warm Spring day and she is on holiday. While a smartly-dressed waiter clears the table, she smiles sweetly at the camera.
In the picture, a gorgeous girl in her twenties is dining at a quaint restaurant in Cortona, Italy. She is on holiday, it’s a warm Spring day, and she is smiling happily at the camera while a smartly-dressed waiter clears the table.
Now, it’s your turn! Try writing a description of a picture with a two or three sentence paragraph. Follow my four steps. Happy writing!
- Click here for How to Write a Sentence.
- Click here for How to Describe an Experience … in 4 Easy Steps
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Thanks, really interesting read and some great techniques best spoken english coaching in trivandrum
Thank you for your comments Rosmy. You may be interested in the ‘Speaking & Pronunciation’ section of my blog. I have three Pronunciation videos of my own, teaching Vowel sounds, and I also link to various online videos.
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Thank you Aptech. I’m so glad that my blog is helpful. You’ll find a lot of information to help your English classes. Good luck!
Wow….Thanks a lot this has really been helpful!
Very well written and easy to understand.
This is very helpful to learn how to write better 😊
wow incredibly fantastic way of teaching. dear teacher you’ve taught us the picture description in a very terrific way. thank you so much
Thank you Mazhar for your kind comments. Make sure to click on “Follow” so you can receive an email every time I write a post. Good luck with your English studies Mazhar.
Your explanations are really easy to understand,it’s extremely useful for me,thank you so much!
Thank you so much Evie for your feedback. This is by far my most popular post! I receive a lot of questions about English grammar and how to write correct sentences, so I’ve decided to write an e-book which explains basic grammar and sentence structure, step by step. It will include ‘How to Describe a Picture in 4 Easy Steps’, with more examples and explanations.
I have most of the material. However, now I need to find out how to put it together as an e-book! That’s something new for me to learn!
Make sure you click on ‘Follow’ Evie and watch this space. Good luck with your English studies!
really very helpful..
if u plz tell me about picture story writing with more than 4 pictures.which tense should we use?
I’m not sure if you mean more than ‘4 pictures’ or 4 steps. Let’s look at both!
If you want to tell a story using a series of related pictures, you would use the same process: start with Step #1 and ask Wh…? questions about each picture. You would have a lot more information of course, so Step #2-4 would be longer. Instead of a paragraph describing one picture, you would have a short story! Wonderful! As for tenses, it depends on the story. Do you want to start in the past with the first picture and describe what happened after that, using
For just one picture, you can use Present Tense as I have, or you could just as easily use Past Tense to describe what was happening when the photo was taken.
I would not recommend using more than the 4 steps. Keep it simple Sadaf!
Good luck with your writing.